Natalie Portman Graces the Cover of GOOD JEWISH NEWS - Av 5783 issue

"May December" seems to be a thought-provoking film that delves into complex themes of performance, identity, and ethical boundaries. Natalie Portman stars as an actor researching a scandal from the past, where Julianne Moore's character, Gracie Atherton-Yoo, was involved in a sexual relationship with a seventh grader, who she is now seemingly happily married to, played by Charles Melton.

The film's script, penned by Samy Burch, navigates these thorny themes in a light but deliberate manner, keeping the audience engaged and constantly shifting their perceptions of the characters. Director Todd Haynes, who has previously worked with Julianne Moore, expresses his admiration for the tonally rich script and the challenge of visually translating its complexities.

For Natalie Portman, "May December" offers a chance to work with a director she admires and explore her own fascinations with performance, art, and innocence. As a producer on the film as well, Portman is drawn to the layers of artifice and the use of lies to tell the truth, which she sees as a magical element of filmmaking.

The film draws some inspiration from real-life cases, with Gracie's character sharing similarities with Mary Kay Letourneau, a teacher who had a relationship with a student. Throughout Haynes' filmography, questions of identity and artifice have been recurrent themes, and Portman's shared approach to film made her an excellent fit for the project.

Haynes praises Portman's eagerness to engage with the disquieting aspects of her character, indicating that she skillfully inhabits the role despite the character's reckless nature. Unlike some of her previous roles that required extensive research, Portman's preparation for this part seems to have been mostly done beforehand.

Overall, "May December" promises to be a thought-provoking and layered exploration of complex themes, supported by a talented cast and a rigorous script. The film was acquired by Netflix and is scheduled for release later this year.

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